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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mechanistic relationship among mutagenicity, skin sensitization, and skin carcinogenicity.

Twenty organic Salmonella mutagens, seven of which (including benzo[a]pyrene) are established skin carcinogens, and one of which (2-chloroethanol) is a well-defined noncarcinogen to skin, have been evaluated for skin-sensitizing activity using the local lymph node assay. The relative mutagenicity of the agents to Salmonella was also established. Fourteen of the chemicals were positive in the local lymph node assay, including the seven skin carcinogens. 2-Chloroethanol was inactive as a sensitizing agent. We suggest that a variety of factors contributes to the lack of sensitizing activity of the remaining six bacterial mutagens: extremes of intrinsic chemical reactivity, high water solubility reducing dermal translocation, and inappropriate dermal metabolism. Two reference skin-sensitizing agents (an oxazolinone and fluorescein isothiocyanate) were established as in vitro clastogens after their recognition as nonmutagens to Salmonella. These data imply that mutagenicity, rather than simply activity in the Salmonella assay, is a primary stimulus for electrophilic sensitization and carcinogenic initiation in the skin. We conclude that genotoxicity data for an agent can provide indications of the agent's potential to induce skin sensitization and that genotoxins which are skin-sensitizing agents have an enhanced potential to initiate skin carcinogenesis. We suggest that common, albeit individually distinct, structure-activity relationships underpin genotoxicity, skin sensitization, and the initiation of skin carcinogenesis. These relationships should simplify the hazard evaluation of chemicals and contribute to a reduction in animal usage. Several predictions of skin carcinogenicity are made based on the data presented.[1]


  1. Mechanistic relationship among mutagenicity, skin sensitization, and skin carcinogenicity. Ashby, J., Hilton, J., Dearman, R.J., Callander, R.D., Kimber, I. Environ. Health Perspect. (1993) [Pubmed]
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